Have your keys ready before you get to the door. Make sure your entrance area is well lit. If you live in an apartment, close the lobby door behind you, especially if a stranger is approaching. Make all visitors and delivery persons use the door bell. Place your name on the inside of the mailbox where only the mail carrier will see it. If a name must be on the outside, use only the last name, e.g., the Smiths.
When recording an outgoing message on your answering machine, avoid leaving your name, phone number or a message that you're not at home. A good message is, "We are unable to answer the phone, please leave a message." Say it confidently.
If a stranger asks to use the phone, keep your door locked and tell them you will place the call for them. If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1. Keep him/her out of your home. Should you arrive home and find signs of a burglary, STAY OUT. Call 9-1-1 from a pay phone or a neighbor's house. Wait there for the police to arrive.